JACARANDA Queen candidates will have a friendly shoulder to lean on in this year’s Matron of Honour.

Mother-of-four Helen Donovan was awarded the title last week and could not have been more pleasantly surprised.

“It’s something I never thought would be bestowed on me,” she said yesterday. “I’m honoured to have been chosen.”

Mrs Donovan is already looking forward to her role, which will involve chaperoning the Queen candidates through the ups and occasional downs expected of any Jacaranda journey.

“I’m looking forward to spending time with the girls and getting to know them better,” Mrs Donovan, who has children aged 21 to 28, said.

“I really enjoy the company of young people.”

Mrs Donovan was also excited about becoming a part of the Jacaranda Festival, which she has attended every year since she was a child.

“It will be wonderful to have a more in-depth look at the festival and attend all the events.”

This year is set to be a memorable – and busy – one for Mrs Donovan, who is preparing to become a grandmother for the first time in August.

She also works full-time as the co-owner of Ray Donovan Stock and Station Agents in South Grafton, alongside her husband.

Growing up in Lower Kangaroo Creek, Mrs Donovan said her earliest memories of the Jacaranda Festival were as a Coutts Crossing Public pupil participating in the small schools display in brightly-coloured skirts.

Later, she and husband Ray enjoyed taking their children along.

“It’s an event I look forward to each year,” she said.

“I consider it a huge privilege to become part of the history of such a renowned festival.”

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